Historical milestone: All-female group leads Tualatin City Council

Shea Carlberg, Copy Editor

Following the elections of a new board of representatives for the Tualatin City Council, the city is seeing its first ever all-female-led group apart from the mayor. This has been an especially empowering landmark to celebrate during Women’s History Month.

The council consists of representatives Maria Reyes, Christen Sacco, Bridget Brooks, Cyndy Hillier, Nancy Grimes and Valerie Pratt, all proud women and citizens of the city of Tualatin. 

Cindy Hillier, a former TuHS parent who has been heavily involved in the TTSD community for years due to her two now-graduated daughters, is currently holding her first position on the Tualatin City Council.

“I ran for City Council for a variety of reasons, but the most important is that I believe our community has the potential to build more connections to help our youth and families live to their full potential, and I look forward to being part of that building process” Hillier said.

When reflecting on the prominent female force elected for this year, Hillier emphasized the impact it has had on her and the community.

“It has been incredible to see women and diversity really be prioritized by voters. Who gets to sit at the table when discussions are being had is important,” Hillier said. “It is an awesome responsibility for anyone to be in an elected position and equally important is how we carry out our duties to ensure that as solutions are being considered they represent all facets of our diverse community.”

Hillier also expanded on what she has been working on with her new position during this global health crisis, with an emphasis on ensuring the safety of the people of Tualatin. 

“Coupled with the fires, the ice storm and the pandemic, our positions have had the opportunity to see and be part of the city pivoting on a dime to ensure safety. Economic impact to citizens and local businesses as well as our own mental health are considered in every move the city makes. This includes getting grants to have a light parade instead of the Starry Night Tree Lighting event and more,” Hillier said. 

She noted the distinction and highlights of distance platforms and communication when it comes to virtual meetings with her fellow representatives.

“Clearly meeting in a Zoom setting has been a huge change in how the council meets but has also created fewer barriers for community members to attend, so that has been a positive!”

Due to the current circumstances, Tualatin’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC), which includes a number of TuHS students, has been unable to be in as close collaboration with the city council as they are normally accustomed to; however, they still shared their opinion on the newly-elected group.

“I am absolutely ecstatic! Having gotten to work closely with some of these women, I feel especially proud to not only be a citizen of Tualatin but also a youth representative of the council,” YAC co-chair and TuHS senior Allie Marx said. 

The Tualatin City Council committee brings hope to women in Tualatin looking to stand with their female counterparts to make a difference.  

“I look forward to having women represent our city in a time when violence against women is being brought to light. I hope the Youth Advisory Council can work with the council to advocate for women in our city who are part of that dreadful 97 percent and create great change in the years to come,” Marx stated.

The positive representation rings true for many, such as fellow YAC co-chair and TuHS senior Claire Ku. 

“It’s been really incredible to see how far the representation of women in legislature has increased in the past few decades,” Ku said. “I was told that it was only about 15 years ago that the Tualatin City Council was composed of all men. It’s amazing to think that we’ve come so far as to have an all-women council for the first time in our city’s history this year.”

As these women stand center stage for political planning in our community, Tualatin transcends into a space where females are celebrated on all levels, starting with local authority. 

Women of all ages living in Tualatin can turn to their local leaders with a seat at the table and admire their fellow females taking a guiding role in civic discussions today.

“When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that,” Ruth Bader Ginsburg said.